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Minnesota Rabbis Urge Parents to Be Firm Against Inter Fait Dating

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The Minnesota Rabbinical Association today urged parents “to take a firm stand” against all interfaith dating and urged Jewish youth to date “only within the Jewish fold” as part of a program to reduce the “rising rate of interfaith marriage among Jews.”

The association, comprised of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis, stressed in the statement the growing social contacts between Jews and non-Jews in the American society and noted that Judaism had always opposed interfaith marriage “as a threat to the survival of the Jewish faith.”

The statement said a high percentage of children of interfaith marriages were lost to Judaism and that there was a greater frequency of broken homes among intermarried couples than among those of common religious backgrounds. The statement then cited three areas where action was needed to cope with the problem: the Jewish home, Jewish education and “a realistic approach to courtship.”

The rabbis said that in homes where children “experience sincere religious commitment, consistent ritual practice and family participation in many activities of the Jewish community, the likelihood of interfaith marriage is reduced.” The rabbis requested all Jewish parents “to reinforce their own commitment to Judaism in order that they may be active participants in the education of their children.”

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